(Washington, D.C.) Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers honored women members of the military during a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery Wednesday. McMorris Rodgers co-chairs the Congressional Women’s Caucus which organizes the annual event.
“Often we take for granted the freedoms we are able to enjoy daily because of the work and sacrifice of our veterans,” McMorris Rodgers said. “We owe them all our gratitude, respect and thanks for their selfless choice to serve and give their lives for our country.”
Wednesday’s event at Arlington National Cemetery comes one day after the U.S. House passed several bills important to Eastern Washington veterans and their families. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers co-sponsored two of the bills:
H.Res. 1054 honors the service and achievements of women in the Armed Forces and female veterans. Almost 350,000 women currently serve in the Armed Forces and make up almost 15 percent of Active Duty personnel and over 17 percent of the National Guard reserve forces.
“Women have historically been an important part of all United States war efforts, voluntarily serving in every military conflict in United States history since the Revolutionary War,” McMorris Rodgers said. “It is an honor for me to co-sponsor this resolution that recognizes the vital role and contributions women make in support of our national security efforts.”
H.R. 6048 amends the Service Member Civil Relief Act to provide for the protection of child custody arrangements for parents who are members of the Armed Forces deployed in support of a contingency operation. This legislation restricts courts from changing the custody status of a service member’s child while they are deployed and unable to participate in custody proceeding.
“As our nation’s men and women answer the call to support ongoing military efforts around the world, they are striving to protect our interest and wellbeing,” McMorris Rodgers said. “For the deployed member who is a single parent, answering this call is especially difficult since they are required to transfer custody of their child (or children) to a family member or a friend. While they serve their country, it’s absolutely essential their country protects their child and the service member’s rights as a parent. This bill helps do exactly that.”